Beavers visit London by dontyouknowme

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									Capital Day Out for Grove Beavers
Beaver Scouts and parents from Grove’s two Beaver Colonies went on a day trip
to London on Saturday 29th November.

We all met at 8.00am in the concourse of Didcot Station. Train tickets were
handed out, safety stickers placed on each child and a safety talk about being
safe on platforms and trains and being with their parent at all times whilst on
the Underground given. We then went to platform 2 and awaited the 8.17 train.
As the train pulled into the station, the tannoy announcing its arrival was
drowned out by the excited chatter of the Beavers! Once on the train the
chatter died down a bit. We all met up on the platform at Paddington and then
headed to the Circle line to travel to South Kensington.

Once through the barriers and our numbers had been re-checked, we walked
along the underground tunnel towards the Natural History Museum. We arrived
20 minutes early, so we spent that time watching the ice skaters in the ice rink
and visiting the Christmas Fair which happened to be outside the museum. At
10.00 we walked through the door into the Earth Zone and began our tour of
the museum from the East end. The Beavers thoroughly enjoyed looking at all
the items displayed on volcanic activity, and then went on to experience an
earthquake in a shop by a simulator. We then walked to a section explaining how
the weather affects our planets and rocks and how man has extracted minerals
from the ground and to how we are going about recycling.

Going onto the Green zone, we walked through a hall with stuffed birds or every
kind and description. Some extinct ones too like the poor Dodo. Then just
before lunch we took a turn through a hall called Ecology. We all met again for
lunch. Some had their packed lunch in the picnic hall and others went to the
main restaurant. Half an hour or so later we were back on our feet again and off
to see the Creepy Crawlies and join the queue for the dinosaurs and the
stuffed animals. Only a few spotted the European Beaver. (Well it was on a
shelf above Beaver Scout height!).Then it was onto the large hall with the
giraffes, whales and elephants, sea creatures and corals. Some of us attended a
very interesting talk from a Marine Biologist, and actually managed to get some
questions in amongst a Brownie Pack that were visiting too. ( very chattery they
were too!) Most Beavers found the Investigate room in the basement and had a
great time looking at specimens under a microscope, touching them and drawing
them. Upstairs above the main hall, we visited the world of monkeys and first
man, a room full of minerals and the Vault, were they keep special priceless
minerals.

We met several people who wanted to talk to us about Beaver Scouts. We even
had our picture taken with a Canadian Beaver toy that was visiting with a
Scouter from Hertfordshire (missed where in the county though). Luckily, Toby
had brought our Beaver with him, as he had been Beaver of the week, so both
Beaver toys were photographed side by side!

We all met back again in the main hall under the dinosaur, took some photos, and
then left to go to Baden Powell House for dinner. After dinner, the Beavers
were given their badges. Explore and Adventure Activity Badges, as well as a
London crest badge, and a Baden Powell House Activity Centre Badge. It was
then that we decided collectively, that we should shorten our journey home, by
taking the Underground again to Piccadilly Circus to then walk up Regent Street
looking at the Christmas Lights, as the Beavers were just beginning to flag as
were some of the adults!!

We joined the Underground at Gloucester Road and then ‘played sardines’ on the
train as loads of people suddenly got on at Hyde Park Corner. We managed to
escape the train at Piccadilly Circus, made sure that we had not lost anyone, and
then joined the shoppers and sightseers walking up Regent Street. When we
arrived at Oxford Circus we took some pictures, had a look at the chandelier
lights and then headed for Paddington on the Bakerloo line. We arrived back at
Paddington in time to catch the 20.00 train for Bristol Temple Meads, which
stopped at Reading and Didcot. (We ignored the Didcot Parkway train it stops
at every station and takes for ever, with extremely tired Beavers, it was not an
option!) The train left on time and we were back in Didcot at 20.41.

We had a fantastic day out in London! For a change the trains were on time.
Thank you to everyone who came along with us and to Tracey Beamont, and
Rachel Caudle and Wayne Bream as Leaders with me. Not forgetting to thank
our lady at home, Pam Hull for being our Home Contact, and who was kept
informed of our every move by text.

Fiona Stovold BSL
Silver Beavers, Grove Scout Group
30th November 2008

								
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